Browse Episodes

Whatever happened to overtime?

The overtime threshold used to be the minimum wage for the middle class—but where did it go? Labor experts Sharon Block and Chris Lu join Nick and Jasmin to explain why the overtime threshold, which used to cover 65 percent of workers, today covers only 7 percent. That’s craziness! And surprise, surprise—employers love to claim that forcing you to work for free is in your own best interest. But are they telling the truth?

Sharon Block is the Executive Director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School. For twenty years, she held key labor policy positions across the legislative and executive branches of the federal government, including head of the policy office at the Department of Labor. 

Twitter: @sharblock

Chris Lu was the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor in the Obama Administration from 2014 to 2017. He also served as Assistant to the President and White House Cabinet Secretary under Obama from 2009 to 2013. He is a Practitioner Senior Fellow at the UVA Miller Center.

Twitter: @ChrisLu44

Further reading: 

https://crooked.com/articles/beat-trump-overtime-pay/

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/11/overtime-pay-obama-congress-112954

BONUS: Econ terms and definitions explained by Nick and Goldy

Ever been in the middle of a Pitchfork Economics pod ep and thought, “WTF are they talking about?” If so, this might help – we define some complex terms that get thrown around a lot (neoclassical, neoliberal, heterodoxy, monopoly, monopsony, and stock buybacks) because we want this to be a fun and informative pod, not, like, a painful and confusing pod.
Twitter: @NickHanauer @GoldyHA

What can a board game teach us about capitalism?

Monopoly and its equally evil twin monopsony are destroying competition, depressing wages, and slowing economic growth. Is market concentration an inevitable outcome of capitalism, or is there a smarter solution?

Jared Bernstein: Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, former Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to VP Biden and Executive Director of the White House Task Force on the Middle Class, and author of ‘The Reconnection Agenda: Reuniting Growth and Prosperity’. 

Twitter: @econjared 

Jonathan Tepper: Founder of Variant Perception, a macroeconomic research group that caters to asset managers. Author of ‘The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition’, ‘Endgame: The End of the Debt Supercycle’, and ‘Code Red’, a book on unconventional monetary policy. 

Twitter: @jtepper2 

Further reading: https://democracyjournal.org/magazine/51/progressive-labor-standards/ 

Any society that allows itself to become radically unequal eventually collapses into an uprising or a police state—or both. Join venture capitalist Nick Hanauer and some of the world’s leading economic and political thinkers in an exploration of who gets what and why. Turns out, everything you learned about economics is wrong. And if we don’t do something about rising inequality, the pitchforks are coming.